EBB 274: Honoring the Mothers of Gynecology with Michelle Browder— Artist, Activist, and Creator of the Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey Monument
On this episode of the EBB podcast, we talk with Michelle Browder, artist, activist, and the creator of the Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsy Monument in Montgomery, Alabama, established to honor the three Mothers of Gynecology.
Michelle Browder is a nationally recognized artist, activist, and amplifier, bridging the racial divide through art, history, and conversation. Michelle's artwork has been exhibited in art galleries around the world, most notably, the Rosa Parks Museum located in Montgomery, Alabama. In September 2021, she created a monument to honor three enslaved women, Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsey, in Montgomery, Alabama. This monument is a reminder of the inhumane treatment and experimentation on enslaved Black bodies. The medical procedures that we have access to today in gynecology have been perfected because of them. The monument honors these Black women and all those that came after to correct the historical narrative around the beginnings of gynecology.
Michelle shares with us how she originally learned about the dark history of Anarcha, Lucy and Betsy and the inspiration to create a monument about the true founders of the field of gynecology. Not only is Michelle working to correct the history of gynecology, she discusses her progress and future plans to bring access, care, and healing to families and practitioners in the 21st Century, at the same site of the torture of Anarcha, Lucy, and Betsy, the Mothers of Gynecology. In the words of Michelle, y'all ain't ready!
Trigger Warning: anti black racism, the use of the N-word, experimentation on enslaved women, sexual trafficking and sexual abuse, postpartum suicidal ideation.